Thursday, January 30, 2014

Are you YA enough for this book club?

My bedroom growing up had a whole wall of floor to ceiling bookshelves. The previous owner had used the room as an office, and when fourth grade me saw those bookshelves I made it my mission to fill those shelves. I almost did, too. By the time we moved I'd amassed a collection of nearly 1,000 books. Ramona, The Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Secret Garden, Sleepover Friends, Matilda, R.L. Stine, Anne of Green collection was non discriminatory. Little Women shared shelf space with blonde twins from California. Really bad teenage love stories cozied up to Gone With the Wind. 

I didn't love reading right away as a kid and to encourage me to read more my parents bought me literally every single book I seemed vaguely interested in. Their (very expensive) scheme worked, I loved to read and in the process found a very special place in my heart for YA lit - Young Adult literature. 

A few years ago it came to my attention that my friend Megan is also my literature soul sister and ever since then we have been trading books books like the madwomen we are. A couple years ago she became the Scholastic book mom for her kids classes and turned me onto such literary gems as Twilight, The Hunger Games and amazing teenage mermaid stories. We used to hide our YA shame, but this week I decided that enough was enough. Not are we no longer hiding our love of the Young Adult novel,  we are starting a book club. 

That's right. Young Adult novel book club is happening. As it turns out, we are far from alone in our taste in books. Within about 2 hours of announcing on Facebook my crazy plan of a book club I got 15 or so ecstatic messages from friends ready to read the angst. Bring on the coming age stories and the dystopian heroes and heroines. Bring on the romance and misunderstandings. Bring on the vampires and mermaids, because we are taking them all on. 

If you are local and interested, send me a message. If you aren't or don't fancy being in a room with a bunch of 30 year old women reading teen lit (well, when you put it that way...), you can follow along here on the blog. Our first meeting is February 7 where we will be deciding between one of these three books. I scoured Amazon for ideas and decided to narrow it down between a social issues book, a classic, and a soon to be released book-to-movie title.

Vote for the title that most interests you in the comments below and the pick for the Friday Night Book Club will be revealed on the 7th. If you are so inclined, you can request to join the Facebook page where we will let our literary freak flags fly high and proud. If you choose to buy any of the titles, please consider clicking through to Amazon via my carousel at the bottom of the post. I will get a small percentage of each purchase, which will make my husband happy considering how easy a Kindle 1-click is at 2 am when I have just finished book one of a particularly amazing series and cannot possibly wait another second to start book two. 

If you can relate, this is probably your kind of book club. 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. This classic, written by S. E. Hinton when she was 16 years old, is as profound today as it was when it was first published in 1967.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

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